In this article…
- What Is Website Content?
- Why Is Web Content Important?
- Different Types of Web Content
- How to Create Good Content for Your Website
- Tips for Writing Effective Website Content
- Website Content Template
Website content is a key component of a business’s online presence and can play a major role in the overall success of a company’s marketing tactics. There are several types of content that can be incorporated into a website, and each type has its own benefits. Here we will explore everything you need to know about creating high-quality content for your website, including what website content is, the different kinds of website content, and tips to ensure your content is as effective as possible.
What Is Website Content?
Website content is written or visual content that users see when they visit websites. For example, when you click on a link to a website, nearly everything you see on that page is considered website content. Content can include images, animations, text, sounds, and videos as well as other elements on a website that are used to communicate with the viewer.
Web content is crucial to nearly every aspect of attracting and closing customers and no website is successful without quality content. Whether you are trying to sell a product, encouraging users to sign up for your weekly newsletter, or asking viewers to participate in a poll, content is the key behind persuading users to take an action.
Image via Flickr by Kreative Machinez
Why Is Web Content Important?
Website content is important for several reasons, with a primary reason being that it can establish you as a trustworthy source on the internet. Search engines use the content published on websites to determine the quality and authority of a given site. The higher the quality of content you publish and the more value it adds to viewers, the higher search engines will display your website pages in search engine results. This can drastically impact your website’s searchability and increase the chance it will be seen by new customers, which can ultimately lead to increased sales and brand awareness.
Additionally, high-quality web content is important because it:
- Strengthens the effectiveness of the message you are trying to portray to visitors
- Sets you apart from other websites in your industry
- Engages your audience and increases the time they spend on your website, which can ultimately lead to higher conversion rates
- Increases the likelihood that potential customers will trust your company
- Boosts the search engine optimization (SEO) of your website
- Can help attract your ideal customer to your website
Different Types of Web Content
There are two primary types of web content used on the internet. These types include text content and media content and can be defined as the following:
Text content is all written content on a website. Examples of text web content include:
- Blog posts: Blogging is a popular way to share ideas and information with website visitors in a more casual way. Many websites use blogs as their primary source of content as they can typically be easily created and updated online. Blog posts can help you build relationships with users by providing them with valuable information and establishing trust in your brand. Common types of blog posts you can easily incorporate into your website include tutorials, how-to guides, and listicles. You can also write more authoritative blog posts when appropriate such as case studies and interviews.
- EBooks: EBooks are great tools for attracting leads to your website and increasing conversions. You can include the opportunity for users to receive an eBook when they submit their email address to your server and sign up for your newsletter or another email-related marketing tactic. As a result, users will not only get an eBook related to your products or services but will also provide you with their contact information for future marketing opportunities.
- White papers: White papers are online content that covers a certain subject in extensive detail. They are primarily used when establishing thought leadership within an industry and can act as a tool to increase leads to your website. White papers may incorporate diagrams, graphs, and how-to guides that demonstrate relevant information about a particular issue or topic in your niche. This type of content should include an introduction that defines the topic, an overview of the challenge that will be discussed, and in-depth discussions and results related to the challenge as well as the solution your white paper is proposing.
- Product descriptions: High-quality product descriptions are a key component to a website where products or services can be directly bought. Product descriptions are often shorter in length and use descriptive language to educate the customer on the product. These descriptions will often include persuasive language to increase the customer’s potential of purchasing. Types of product descriptions include design specifications, commercial item descriptions, and purchase descriptions.
- Case studies: Case studies are commonly used by companies that are trying to establish their authority in the market and to prove to potential customers why their products or services are the best. Case studies can be integrated into your website via a link that leads to the full study. This link can then be shared by viewers, making it easy to increase awareness of your company.
Most text content on a website should follow a typical structure and include accurate punctuation, grammar, and spelling. Text may be included within images, as part of videos, or on its own as text blocks. High-quality text content is content that is original and adds value to the user. This means the content is unique and not plagiarized from other resources online. Text is the type of content that is most readily able to be analyzed by search engines and is therefore often the primary source of how your website is assessed and rated by search engines.
Additional text content that may be used on your website includes:
- Case studies
- Opinion posts
- Press releases
- Company news
- About Us page
Sometimes referred to as multimedia, media content is all other content on a website in addition to text content. Media content may include:
- Animations: This can include backgrounds, galleries, slideshows, and other animations that are part of a website and contain content.
- Images: Common image types on websites include GIF, PNG, and JPEG.
- Sounds: Sounds should be used sparingly on a website and there should be an easy way for viewers to disable sounds.
- Videos: Videos can be a useful tool in portraying content on your website. Common types of videos include welcome videos, commercials or infomercials, and information videos.
In most cases, media content is most successful when it is used in moderation. It’s also important to ensure that any multimedia content you use on your website does not interfere with your website’s loading time, as this can result in the loss of viewers. The media you incorporate into your website should be specifically chosen based on your target audience and what they respond best to.
Additional Content Formats
In addition to text and media content, there are several other forms of content that combine these two formats. The following are additional types of online content that you can use when creating new content for your website:
- Tool reviews
- Help tools/online help desk
You should carefully research what your target audience responds to before incorporating different types of content into your website. For example, if your target customer is a 20-something who understands and enjoys memes, this may be a good content idea for your website. However, if your ideal customer is older and does not regularly view or enjoy memes, you should consider another content option.
How to Create Good Content for Your Website
The following are steps you can take to create high-quality and effective content for your company’s website:
1. Determine What Sets Your Company Apart
Setting your company apart from your competitors is essential when creating and growing your website and online presence in general. With millions of company websites on the web, differentiating your business is mandatory if you want to succeed in the online world. Consider the “why” of your company and how your products or services provide a unique solution to your target audience’s problems or needs.
Additional factors to consider when determining your value proposition include:
- How will your product or service improve customers’ situations?
- What problems do your products or services solve?
- What benefits will your products or services provide to customers?
- Why should your target client buy from you versus your competitors?
- What are the specific results the customer can expect from your products or services?
Your value proposition should be the backbone of all the content you create for your company’s website. The better you understand and can communicate why your business is better than competitors, the more effective your content is likely to be.
2. Identify All of Your Buyer Personas
Good website content begins with identifying and understanding all of your buyer personas. A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal client or clients. You can have one buyer persona or several; the key is to know everything you can about your target customer and to create content that speaks directly to them.
When identifying your company’s buyer personas, consider their:
- Job title
- Industry/industries they work in
- Biggest challenges/pain points they face on a daily basis
- Social networks they use
- Resources they go to for information
- Demographics (age, gender, relationship status, etc.)
- Educational background
- Preferred way to interact with sellers (online, in person, at a store, etc.)
- Behavioral patterns
- Annual income
- Goals in relation to the types of products/services you offer
An example of a buyer persona is as follows:
- They are 32 to 35 years old.
- They live in a big city such as Los Angeles, California
- They work at start-up companies..
- They use Instagram and Facebook daily.
- They prefer to shop online via their mobile device.
- They make an average of $85,000 annually.
- They are mostly female.
- They are in a serious relationship or married.
You will use the information you gather when identifying your buyer persona to create targeted content that is directly related to their needs, pain points, and interests. The more specific you are about your buyer persona, the better able you will be to target your ideal customer.
3. Run an Audit on Your Website’s Current Content
If you already have a website with content on it, you should first run an audit on that content to determine how it is currently performing. This audit will give you a better understanding of what’s working and what isn’t on your website so that you can identify what needs to be changed and what can stay.
The following are steps you can take to run an audit on and improve your website content:
- Use a site audit tool. There are several tools available that can run an audit on your website. Popular website auditing tools include Ahrefs and Screaming Frog. These tools must be purchased but can perform an effective site audit much more quickly and effectively than doing it yourself.
- Fix technical problems uncovered by the site audit. Common technical errors that an audit may discover include broken images, crawl errors, broken links, and lack of mobile-friendliness. These issues can often be easily fixed and can significantly improve the quality of your website and its content.
- Improve SEO. How well your content performs in terms of SEO can have a major impact on your website’s searchability. There are several issues that can occur with a website’s SEO, including missing code, duplicate content, too short or long meta descriptions and title tags, and non-optimized content. Improving the SEO functionality of your content can greatly increase your website’s ability to be found by new customers.
When auditing your website’s content, you should additionally make sure your content has the following:
- A well-organized structure that adheres to SEO best practices
- No fluff or “filler” content
- External and internal links where appropriate
- Relevant keywords
- A purpose that speaks directly to the needs and/problems of your target audience
4. Build a Content Strategy That Caters to the Customer Lifecycle
When mapping out your content strategy, you should ensure that your web copy follows a logical pattern that leads customers through the sales funnel. The following are the most common lifecycle stages that a potential customer goes through when visiting a website:
- Awareness: This stage is when a potential customer identifies that they have a problem and turn to the internet or another source to find a solution. For example, a customer who needs new hair extensions may search for “hair extension services” and come across your website’s blog in the search results. They click on your blog and discover that your company has what they are searching for. Types of content that are successful for this stage include blog posts, social media posts, GIFs, videos, cold emails, and shareable content like graphics.
- Interest: Once the customer is made aware of your company and that you have a solution to their problem, they often become interested in what you have to offer. The customer will likely do research and compare your product/service to that of your competitors. You should build content on your website that caters to this phase, as this is often the phase in which a customer goes from aware of your company to convinced your product/service will solve their problems. Content to use during this phase includes blog posts, customer testimonials, and features of your product/services.
- Consideration: Once a customer is interested in your product, they will then enter into the consideration phase. This is when the customer is seriously considering buying your product or service. Your aim in this stage should be to fully convince customers of why your product/service is the best option available to solve their problem. Content to incorporate on your website for this stage includes testimonials, case studies, white papers, before/after pictures, and other information that further supports the effectiveness and leadership of your products and services.
- Decision: The decision phase of the customer lifecycle is when the potential customer decides to purchase your product or service after being convinced it is the best choice for solving their problem. This phase may also be referred to as the “purchase” or “conversion” phase. Content to use to support this phase includes landing pages, product or service tutorials, customer support, and welcome emails.
- Retention: Once a customer has completed a purchase, they will enter into the retention or post-purchase lifecycle phase. Even though someone has already purchased from you, it’s important to continue to cater to them through valuable content to encourage customer retention. Studies have shown that an estimated 70% to 95% of a business’s revenue comes from current customer renewals and upsells, whereas only 5% to 30% of revenue is a result of new customer acquisition. Content that can help promote customer repurchases include newsletters, emails announcing new products/services, emails regarding sales and discounts, case studies, and blog posts.
5. Outline All Content That is Essential to Your Website
There is certain content that will be essential to your website. Common content that is necessary for most company’s web presence includes:
- About page
- Contact page
- Frequently asked questions
- Product/services descriptions
- Imagery such as photos, videos, or other media content related to your products/services
- High-quality content such as white papers, case studies, and blog posts
The exact content that will be necessary for your website will depend on your industry as well as the products and services you offer. Take time to research your competitors’ websites, especially those that are highly successful, to get an idea of what website content you should consider essential. Then, outline this content and determine the specific information you will include in each area.
6. Put Together a Content Team and Assign Out Web Copy
Once you have determined what content needs to be created, you can then organize a content team and divvy out the content assignments to each team member. You can either form an in-house content team or hire freelance content writers depending on your needs, budget, and resources.
You should choose people to be part of your content team who are knowledgeable about the topics you want to cover. For example, if you plan on creating an eBook on the importance of drinking 75 ounces of water a day to promote your 75-ounce water bottle, you should find a person who is educated in water consumption and how it affects health and wellness.
Once you have organized a content team, create a content schedule and ensure that each team member understands what is expected of them in terms of content creation. For example, if you want to post two blog posts a week, ensure that the person in charge of creating blog posts is aware of this expectation and also has the time and resources to accomplish the goal. Hold your content team accountable and adjust expectations where needed for maximum success.
7. Create Value-Driven Content
The next step in creating high-quality website content is to begin the production phase. Focus on creating content that is value-driven and addresses the needs and problems that your ideal customer faces. The higher the quality and value of your content, the more likely you are to attract new customers and rank high on the search engine results page (SERPs).
Tips for creating value-driven content include:
- Identify the primary themes you want to cover in your content.
- Decide on the tone and voice you will use throughout your content.
- Have a clear point-of-view that your company will uphold.
- Write using language that your target audience can relate to and understand.
- Ensure that all content you create has a definable purpose.
- Include content that promotes interactions from viewers.
- Keep content relevant and timely.
8. Implement a Content Publishing Schedule
An important part of having a successful and lucrative web presence is to regularly and reliably publish content. For example, if your company has a blog, you should commit to publishing new blog posts on a consistent and predictable basis. You publish post a new blog post every Monday, or on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Stay committed to whichever schedule you choose to follow. This will build up an audience as well as allow them to anticipate your new content.
9. Keep Track of Your Content’s Performance
A key component of successful website content is ensuring that is performing well and is as relevant as possible to your target customer. You must regularly evaluate how your content is performing and make changes as needed to improve performance. Ways to determine how your content is performing include:
- See which content is being shared the most.
- Analyze how long users spend on each page of your website.
- Track which web pages get the most clicks from search engines.
- Determine which content is most effective at converting a visitor.
- Look at which of your website pages rank highest on search engines.
There are several tools available to help you track this information. Common tools to use include:
Tips for Writing Effective Website Content
The following are important tips to consider when creating website content to ensure it is as effective as possible at attracting, converting, and maintaining customers:
Use the “Inverted Pyramid” Model When Structuring Content
Many internet users only spend minutes or even seconds on a website. In fact, studies have shown that the first 10 seconds of a user’s experience on a webpage will determine if they stay or leave the site. This means that your content should be structured in a way that quickly and effectively captures attention.
You can do this by using the “inverted pyramid” model which focuses on putting the most important and relevant content at the top of a website and then slowly introducing more detailed and specific information. This can help grab a user’s attention at the onset of their visit to your webpage and keep them on your website by providing more in-depth details.
Make Your Content Easy to Skim
When visiting a new website, users often skim through the site to see if the content contains what they are looking for. Without easily skimmable content, a user may click out of your website before truly understanding what you have to offer. Ways to make your content easier to skim include:
- Include white space throughout your web pages.
- Use lists to detail the content of a webpage.
- Keep paragraphs short.
- Use bolding and italics to emphasize different subjects or areas in your content.
- Divide your content into relevant sections.
- Use sub-headers to separate each section.
Use Various Forms of Media
Websites with only text are often less inviting to users than those with several forms of content. And, studies have shown that 90% of information received by and understood by the brain is visual. This means that incorporating multimedia into your web content will often attract users more effectively than blocks of text. Media to consider including is infographics, videos, graphs, charts, images, and videos.
Layer Your Content
When creating content for your website, you can use something called layering to direct users to different parts of your website. For example, if they are reading a blog post on your latest product, you can include a link in the blog post to the page where they can purchase the product. This makes it easy for users to navigate to different areas of your webpage that would be helpful to them and can ultimately promote conversions.
Keep Sentences Short and Concise
The shorter and more concise your sentences are, the more likely that viewers will actually read them. Longer sentences can quickly cause readers to space out or lose interest, especially if these sentences contain complicated words and phrases. Keep your sentences as short as possible and use easy-to-read language that can be understood by a 7th or 8th grader. You can use a tool that tests the readability of your content to ensure it is as concise and easily readable as possible.
Use Examples and Real-Life Descriptions
Rather than simply referring to how great your product or service is, using descriptions and examples to help users see why your products and services are the best. For example, rather than saying “our hair products are the best on the market,” use descriptive language such as “we created this all-natural, plant-based shampoo from 100% sustainable ingredients that are not only good for your hair but are also good for the environment. Ninety-seven percent of our users saw increased manageability and 87% reported smoother strands after just three uses.”
Ensure All of Your Content Provides Value
Your ultimate goal when creating content should be to provide value to your target audience. Without value, users have little need for your website and will likely not go on to purchase products or services from your company.
Here are a few examples of value-driven content:
- Newsletters that provide the information your target audience is interested in but don’t know how to find
- Blog posts that answer specific questions your customers have
- Content that educates your target audience on how to solve problems that are specific to them
- How-to videos
- Content that teases information about future product releases
- EBooks that provide valuable information specific to what your target consumer is interested in
Additional strategies you can implement to increase the value your content provides include:
- Customized visuals (not stock photos)
- Infographics or charts that visually illustrate your content
- Links to high-quality resources such as apps, posts, and tools that are relevant to your audience
- Creative videos that portray your content in a new way
- In-depth responses to any comments left on your website or blog posts
- Content snippets that can be easily shared on social media platforms like Twitter
Cater to Your Niche
The more specific your content is to your niche or industry, the more likely it will attract your ideal customer and convert potential consumers into buyers. Determine what niche your target audience falls into and create content that directly corresponds with that niche.
For example, let’s say you have a hair product company. Rather than targeting every person who has hair, consider narrowing this down to women with blonde hair. This gives you a highly definable target consumer to gear your content towards. The more specific you are about the niche you are targeting, the more likely you are to reach that niche and make an impact with your content.
Optimize All of Your Content
Without proper search engine optimization (SEO), your website content may not be found by new potential customers. All content you create and put on your website should include carefully thought out optimization tactics. Examples of how you can optimize your content include:
- Add relevant keywords in the title, body, tags, and meta descriptions of your content.
- Include alt descriptions when posting images and other multimedia.
- Input calls to action in blog posts, articles, and other content where this would be appropriate.
- Ensure all content you post is relevant and original.
- Create search-friendly URLs.
- Compose compelling and click-worthy titles.
- Include both internal and external links in your content.
- Post on a regular basis.
Make Your Content Mobile-Friendly
According to a survey conducted by Google, 67% of people said they are more likely to visit a website that is mobile-friendly and buy from this site. The same survey found that 50% of people are less likely to buy from a business if their site is not mobile-friendly, even if the customer likes the business. And, 52% of users reported that they are less likely to engage with a business if their site provides a negative mobile experience.
These percentages show that mobile-friendly website content is imperative to attracting and keeping customers. If your website offers an easy-to-use and positive mobile experience, users are far more likely to buy from your business.
You can implement the following methods to increase how mobile-friendly your website and its content is:
- Ensure your website is responsive. A responsive website is one that displays the same content across all devices but that restructures that content based on the device being used. For example, your website content may reorganize itself to be easier to read on a smaller mobile device. A responsive website makes sure that users get the same information no matter what device they view your site on but that information is displayed in an easy-to-read manner.
- Don’t use Adobe Flash Player. Flash player can hinder your website’s ability to be easily viewed on mobile devices, as this program is not supported by Android or iOS devices. Flash can also slow down your website’s load time.
- Create buttons that are large enough to be used on mobile devices. Website buttons are easy to click when viewing a website on a desktop computer or laptop. However, when viewing the site on a mobile device, these button sizes aren’t always mobile-user friendly. Make sure your website buttons can be easily clicked on all devices. You can test their size by pulling up your website on your own mobile device and seeing how easily each button can be clicked.
- Use a viewport meta tag. A viewport meta tag is a great tool to ensure your website fits within the device screen it’s being viewed on. To incorporate a viewport meta tag on your website, include the following HTML code onto each webpage. (<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>)
- Make your website fonts readable on all devices. The size of your font can play a significant role in how mobile-friendly your website is. Ensure that your website fonts are large enough to be easily read on smaller devices. A good rule of thumb is to use a font that is 14px or larger.
- Perform mobile testing on a regular basis. Take the time to regularly test how your website appears on a mobile device. If there are parts of your website that are hard to read or navigate on a mobile device, find a way to improve their mobile compatibility.
Website Content Template
The following is a template you can use as a guide when creating content for your company’s website:
[URL: This should be your company’s website URL along with an optimized title tag following a “/”. For example, a URL for a page on your website may be “www.abccompany.com/how-to-organize-dining-room.”]
[Title/headline: Most if not all of your website pages should have a headline or title that denotes what the page is about. Your header should be descriptive and eye-catching as well as contain an optimized keyword.]
[Sub-headers: Subheadings can help break up your content to make it easily skimmable for viewers. Your sub-headers should be descriptive and clearly note what the section is about.]
[Body: This is where the majority of your content will go on your webpage. Consider breaking up your body content into bulleted or numbered lists when possible and keep paragraphs short.]
[Multimedia: Consider including images, graphics, or other forms of multimedia in the body of your content to break up content and draw in the viewer’s attention. Ensure that the multimedia you include is relevant to the content on the webpage.]
[Call to action: When possible, you should include a call to action at the end of the content on a webpage. This can motivate users to take action after viewing your website. Include a call-to-action button when possible.]
Creating high-quality, value-driven website content can boost your website’s ability to be found by new customers and increase your overall profitability. The information discussed in this article gives you a solid foundation on how to compose the most effective content possible to support your web presence.